Wednesday Night #962

Written by  //  August 9, 2000  //  Herb Bercovitz, Jeremy Jonas, John Ciaccia, Reports, Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #962

9 August 2000

T’was the night before Wednesday and all through the house
Not a four-foot was stirring, only The Mouse.
Papa with his headset was ready to zap
The latest report by that old CBC chap.
Then from downstairs rang a loud wail of despair
“I can’t think of a subject. You’ll have no topic to Chair!”
We’ve done Israel, Kosovo, money and mergers
Water and climate, Air Canada purges.
The market’s no fun; Conrad’s snit is old hat.
We’re ‘tween conventions and Chrétien’s standing pat.
We need an issue that’s fun, or will arouse ire,
Tantalize, agonize, or somehow inspire….”
We won’t torture our brains, we’ll rely on our friends
They’re sure to raise something before Wednesday Night ends.
So from our house to your house comes this little invite
Hoping you’ll join us and put a quick end to our plight.

The Reply from Jeremy Jonas
Wednesday, August 09, 2000
It happens that I was hoping to come this evening, and I could “bring with me” one topic. You had once mentioned the possibility of an eCommerce-focussed evening. I could bring our CEO (Greg Kalinin CEO) and perhaps also our CFO (Clive Hooton, who used to live in the Hooton/Gault complex up the street from you and was a Wed. Night participant ~10 years ago).
It is vaguely possible that I could dig up a couple of other eComm community people (B2C marketing services, competitive intelligence online, Bombardier online initiatives, eCommerce incubator, etc.) as well given some notice (i.e., let me know this morning and I’ll try for tonight!). I recognize that you might have wanted more time to invite various pertinent folks for such as topic but you seemed to be looking for some assistance tonight. If it does not make sense we can put this all together for another time. Separately, I was hoping to introduce to your group a friend/professional colleague, John Hurley, who is a partner at Fraser Milner Casgrain here and lives in the Priest’s Farm area. A very interesting and productive man who would very much enjoy Wed. Nights I am sure.
Please let me know, if the timing is not right for the eCommerce evening, if it would be alright to bring John. [yes to all DTN]

The Report

This Wednesday was memorable for two reasons. First, there were more new – and younger – faces around the table than there were “Regulars” and, second, the topic of young “tekkie” entrepreneurs is one that our Chairman has wanted to bring to the Salon for many months. Thanks to Jeremy Jonas MBA, Pres. (or Jeremy Peachtree as our scribe refers to him), we welcomed Clive Hooton MBA, CFO of; Luc Sirois MBA, McKinsey & Company, expert in incubation of small high-tech companies; Christopher Koppe, Director, Wireless Business Development,; Martin Cloutier of Propage interactif –; Robert Gordon, President,; and Denis Martineau CEO of;

The last quarter century has seen digital technology move from the era of the vacuum tube and hard-wired computers to a global network of youth-oriented, unregulated, multi-dimensional, world of wireless technology. It has changed totally, if not rendered obsolete, our traditional views of censorship, copyright and patent laws; it has changed our way of teaching, our view of privacy of information, our buying habits, our way of investing, our way of doing business; it may in the process, be making traditional television obsolete.

Many students throughout the years have developed an aptitude for borrowing the works of successful authors, but the Internet has rendered it so easy that an investment of thirty dollars has the potential of enabling a student to acquire a competently written Master’s thesis, saving him or her endless hours of research while keeping the Academic staff alert to the scientific writing of young graduating students, in an effort to thwart that practice. More importantly, in classroom work, the Web enables students to acquire sufficient prior understanding of upcoming topics in their own time, to enable them to enter the classroom better prepared to discuss the matter intelligently. The Internet also has the potential of permitting teaching of students simultaneously around the world.
An unresolved issue remains that of clearly communicating course content and ideas across the multicultural, multilingual barriers. As communications technology in the developed world speeds up exponentially, our verbal communications skills appear to diminish. When ungrammatical shortcuts and abbreviations reign on the Internet, it becomes increasingly difficult to convey ideas clearly to people of different cultures for whom English may be a second, third or fourth language.

Pirating of music has proven a mixed blessing. While depriving the composers of royalties, it enables new composers and artists otherwise unable to break into the commercial music business to be heard, judged at no cost by a wide audience, and perhaps becoming known, to an extent otherwise impossible for them.

E-Commerce is rapidly overtaking the imagination of young entrepreneurs, investors and the public. Developing at a rapid pace, it has prompted the government of Québec to take measures to attract these creative individuals to Montréal. While the government is to be lauded for seizing this opportunity, its involvement in the related real estate development may prove to have been an error. The principle is right but the whole approach is wrong.

The Chairman, asked some probing questions of the “Incubating” expert. As in traditional business, E-entrepreneurs raise capital based on a creative idea and a business plan. Amounts required vary from the need to build a warehouse, purchase equipment for manufacture, distribution or sale, to the Peachtree Network [PCH] concept of small capital needs and contracting with existing established, reliable, independent distributors. During its short lifetime, Peachtree, has experienced steady rather than spectacular growth – but is launching operations in Manhattan this week, and sees a bright future ahead. Online-grocery company picks Mourelatos as its Montreal partner to serve West Island, Laval, Westmount, LaSalle, Nuns’ Island, Outremont, St. Laurent, Notre Dame de Grace and downtown Montréal for pick up or home delivery. Forget the crowded aisles and killer carts. Pour a martini, cast your list on the Net and relax.

While Wednesday Nighters are divided on the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections, most saw George Bush Jr. as the next president. They largely agree however, that both candidates for vice-president outshine the presidential candidates in those qualities most sought by the electorate. One experienced voice predicted Al Gore‘s election, stating that as the election approaches, the public will become increasingly aware of Bush’s lack of substance.[Experienced voices can be wrong. As we know, GWB was elected, thanks to ‘hanging chads’ and the public only later became aware of the lack of substance DTN 2007]


We salute the success of John Ciaccia‘s book THE OKA CRISIS, A MIRROR OF THE SOUL Un Miroir de l’Ame, noting that it was number two on the English language best-seller list and number four on the French-language list.

Oka crisis Ottawa’s fault: Ciaccia
July 10, 2000
CBC News
A key player in the 1990 Oka crisis is putting most of the blame for the harrowing stand-off on the federal government.
Former Quebec Native Affairs Minister John Ciaccia says Oka could have been avoided if Ottawa had listened to his advice about Mohawk land claims.
Ciaccia makes the allegations in his book, “The Oka Crisis: A Mirror of the Soul,” which is being released Monday.
Ciaccia says Ottawa could have bought the land at the heart of the dispute and transferred it to Mohawk control, but federal officials dragged their feet.
Instead there was a 78-day armed stand-off that left one Quebec police officer dead and transformed Mohawk communities into battlegrounds.
Tuesday marks the 10-year anniversary of the police raid that triggered the crisis.

More on the book launch, John Ciaccia and the Oka crisis

For those less familiar with the events of the Oka crisis, we commend the brief “Standoff at Oka” in CBC’s Canadian history series

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